Life is both free will and destiny


Life is a combination of both destiny and free will. For example, your height is your destiny and your weight is your free will.
An intelligent person will always see the past as destiny, and the future as free will. If you think that the past was about free will, then you will only sit and regret in the present. And if you think that the future is all destiny then you will have no enthusiasm to do anything in the present. So fools think that the past was free will and the future is destiny, and get depressed and become unhappy
Someone once asked me, “Did you become a Guru by choice or by accident?”
I said, “By accident!” — so that is the destiny. Knowing that the past is destiny, the future is free will, you should live happily in the present moment. This is wisdom.
A strong body can carry a weak mind, but a weak mind cannot carry even a strong body. Clarity in the mind and purity in the heart are the signs of happiness. Having these will uplift your spirit, and it has not left anyone untouched.

Finding a balance in life through meditation



How does one find balance in life? Through meditation. Today scientists say, if you meditate even for eight weeks at least once a day, the grey matter in the brain increases and the structure of the brain changes. That's what I have been saying for the last 35-40 years. Today scientists have said the same thing, they have authenticated it in some way – that meditation does so much good to your nervous system and it does so much good to your brain. It creates a positive energy around you, it uplifts your spirit and alters your behavior pattern.

World Health Organization says that the biggest challenge that mankind is facing today is depression, and by the year 2020 depression is going to be much more prevalent. If half the population are on anti-depressants, then that is going to be terrible. Even anti-depressants work for some time and then they stop working. So, we need to bring a lifestyle change in people by making them understand how they can handle their own mind, their energy and their vibrations.

We live in era of quantum physics and today quantum physics says this is all about vibration. The whole world is nothing but vibrations, and this is what spirituality also says – it's all vibration. So, we need to teach people how they can shake off all the stress that accumulates on a day-to-day basis.

30 years ago, when I would talk about yoga or meditation, people would say, “Wow, that's not the normal thing to do. Someone who is crazy would go for all this”. That was the paradigm, that was the assumption people had. Today it has changed. Today, big companies like Daimler Chrysler, Benz, etc., show someone in a meditative pose to depict happiness in their advertising. Relaxation and happiness has become synonymous to meditation. I feel there's a big change in the mindset of the people.

Truth and Lies


What is a lie? Something which keeps changing is called a lie. If you said something yesterday, and today you say something else, then that is called a lie.
Now what is truth? Truth is that which is unaffected by time. Something which remains constant and unchanging through the three phases of time (past, present and future) is what is truth.
If you look around and see, everything is changing. The way you were yesterday, or ten years back, you are not the same today. In a year’s time, every cell in our body changes.
So, when I say ‘Everything is a lie’, it means everything is changing.
Now, when you understand that everything is changing, then there must be some reference point which doesn't change, through which you can know that everything is changing. And what is that reference point? That reference point is you.
If everything in you changes, then how can you say ‘I have changed’? If everything in you changes then you have become another person itself. So, you need some reference point for change to be observed, otherwise you can't even know change. There is something in you that is not changing, but what is this that is not changing is not very clear.
We usually say, ‘I went to this school 20 years back’, or, ‘I did this job 25 years back’, but who was that person? Even if you look at a picture of you taken around 20 years back, you will not find much resemblance. Your body, mind, intellect, thoughts, feelings, everything has changed. But certainly, there is something which has not changed because of which you can notice this change.
That is why I say, first identify the changes that are happening within you. Once you identify these changes, then slowly you will be able to identify that what is not changing. And once you identify that which is not changing, then you will realize ‘This is what I am, this is what I have been searching for.’

Story of Mullah Nasruddin and his grumbling


Mullah Nasrudin used to grumble all the time. He was a farmer, so he would grumble, “Oh, there is no rain.” There was no rain in California for so many years. He’d say, “Oh, there is no rain, no crops are coming, it’s so difficult and…” He was grumbling.

That year, there was very good rainfall, and he had great crops in his fields. People thought, this year Nasrudin will not grumble, because his crops have come on so nicely, so good, and so high. There’s no problem. They said, “He must at least be happy.” So people went to greet him, “Oh, Mullah, how are you? You seem to be doing very well, lots of crops. Your field is simply flourishing and so attractive.” But Mullah had the same long face. He said, “Yes, now we have so much work to do. All these years I didn’t have to do anything, with no crops. But now so many crops and I have to do this, go to market and sell them. It’s a big headache!” He was still grumbling. Whether there were crops or not, his grumbling continued.

It's the same way in your life. You are unhappy about things you have and you are unhappy about things you don’t have. Isn’t it?

Someone who doesn’t have a car is unhappy, because he doesn’t have a car. Someone who has a car is unhappy, because he has to maintain that car and it is such a big headache: pay the tax, do this, maybe get a ticket… I could simply take public transport and go as before. Now I have to do the cars service and keep it somewhere when I get out. If the battery goes down, do something about it. A hundred and one things!

Develop the habit of being happy. You have to do it. Nothing else can give you that. Nobody else can do it. If anybody else or anything else does it, it will only be very temporary.


Story from the Puranas about the two gatekeepers of God


There is a beautiful story in the Puranas. It’s a mythological story. In the abode of God, there were two gatekeepers. And the gatekeepers did not allow entry to some devotees who wanted to barge in. The gatekeepers stopped them. 
So when the devotees were stopped, they got angry. They got angry at the gatekeepers, cursed them and said, “You go and be born in the world!”  And when God came to know about it, he pleaded with those devotees. He said, “Please forgive my doorkeepers.” This is very beautiful that God is pleading with the devotees for the gatekeepers. 
Because devotion is so much higher. It’s very precious. Even God loves devotees. He runs behind the devotees, it is said. Because of the devotion the devotees had for God, because the very presence of God made them complete, all their anger vanished. 
God called the two gatekeepers and asked them, “What would you like? Do you want a hundred lifetimes as a friend or three lifetimes as an enemy?” And they choose three lifetimes as an enemy, as long as they could be liberated. Then God told them, “Okay, you will be born, you will have intense anger towards Me. And in that intense anger, you will think about Me all the time. Soon I will be with you. You will be liberated. Because when you have such intense anger towards me, I will occupy your mind constantly. And so you will be liberated.” 
It’s very beautiful. The principle is, when you’re angry at somebody, that person is occupying most of your consciousness very strongly. 
See, when you get a blister from your shoe, you don’t get angry at the shoe, do you? The shoe doesn’t occupy your mind, though it has caused a blister on your foot. But if somebody else did something to you, that somebody occupies your mind all the time. So whoever you are angry with, they occupy a major part of your life. So it is better to direct that anger towards God. Because in reality, God is responsible for all the different emotions in different people. And God is the charm behind every life. If somebody is very charming, if they look very charming, what is behind that? It’s the Divine that makes them charming. So, if you see the Divine behind them, if you see a charming person, a boy or a girl who stirs your mind, then you say, “Behind this is the Divine.” 
In this way, constantly the Divine rolls in your mind— through the lust, through anger, through arrogance. If you feel proud, be proud of the Divine. Be proud of one thing— that you are very dear to God and you belong to the Divine. Thus, you can integrate whatever is happening inside you into one whole, without feeling bad about yourself or bad about anybody else.

The secret to handling your mind


Just let it be! That is the secret to handling the mind.
If you try to get rid of the mind, it becomes a monster. If you just let the mind be, it will vanish! When you are not aware of the tricks and the mumbo-jumbo going on in the mind, then life is misery. This is because life is based on the mind.
When you recognize that all this is in my mind (judging people and situations, holding concepts about the self and others); you recognize that you are making a mess of everything in your mind.
‘This is how it should be’, or, ‘It should not be like this’, whenever such thoughts come, it means the mind is coming into play; this is all part of the world. This is where you need to latch onto that non-changing, abstract, invisible energy or power. When you latch onto it, you are no longer caught in the grip of the mind. When we are in the grip of the mind, we make ourselves and others miserable.
Look back at your mind, not at others, and see what drama and pain has been caused by it. When you do that, it is no longer pain, it is entertainment. It is like a multi-channel television, a movie channel that has caused so much comedy, suspense, drama, and misery in your life.
This is the reason why all the great saints and poets always addressed their own mind, ‘Oh, my dear mind, how fascinating you are, why do you get caught up in so many things! Why do you not recognize that which is so magnanimous, and so beautiful?’ Rumi, Kabir, all the great saints, have sung about their own mind.
In the Bhagvad Gita also, it is said that the mind is responsible for your freedom and bondage.
The mind is a friend and an enemy. When the mind is your enemy, it ties you down to your past impressions and experiences, because it does not let you see things with a fresh new eye. This is because everything we perceive is through the mind; even knowledge is perceived through the mind. When the mind is your enemy, it makes you judgmental, brings misery, stiffness and unhappiness.
When the mind is your friend, it brings happiness, freedom, and liberation. So, the mind can be our greatest enemy or our best friend.

What is it that you have to surrender?


Anyway everything belongs to the Divine already. But when you think that something belongs to you, then I say, ‘Let go’. When you are holding onto something so tight, that is when I say, ‘Hey, relax’. Relaxation is called surrender; it is nothing else. If something is bothering you in your head, offering that botheration is surrender.
It is just like offering aahuti (the act of making prayerful offerings to the sacred fire). So whatever bothers you or troubles you, offer that as aahuti to the Divine.
That which you cannot handle by yourself; that which has become a burden for you; that which you are tired of carrying on your head, just put it down and let go! That is what is meant by surrender.
Otherwise what is there to surrender? Your body belongs to God. Even your mind belongs to God. Everything belongs to God. But you think it belongs to you, Just let go, relax and smile. Letting go, relaxing and smiling is what the meaning of surrender is.
In Buddhism, it is said ‘Buddham Sharanam Gachhami’, which means whatever burden you cannot handle by yourself, offer it to Lord Buddha, or offer it to God, or offer it to the Guru, or offer it to anyone who is dear to you. This is for you to feel that there is someone who belongs to you and is very dear to you, and you are very dear to that person.
I will give you an example.
A child, when it knows that mother is at home, it feels so comfortable. The child will roam about here and there and play happily. But when the child does not see the mother, and mother has gone somewhere, then it starts looking for her and starts crying.  Though nowadays the children actually become happy when they find that mother is not around! Then they can do even more mischief. But this happens when the children grow a little older.
Small children often keep a watch to see whether mother is around, isn’t it so? One eye will be on the mother. This is because the child feels comforted to know, there is someone for them, who is sitting there.